To say the ratings for WEMP/FM News 101.9 have been in the tank since hitting the air in August would be kind. In the latest Arbitron numbers, the Merlin Media start-up slipped from a .6 to a microscopic .5.
Those ratings indicate a failed experiment, and heads are rolling on Hudson Street.
Liz Aiello, VP of programming for WEMP, has been shown the door, FishbowlNY has confirmed. Aiello, hired by Merlin in June, had her last day Thursday.
Though she arrived with an extensive broadcasting resume, Aiello lacked any All-News experience. Aiello was a managing editor and executive producer at WABC/Channel 7. Aiello arrived at WEMP following a stint at Sirius XM Radio as SVP for Martha Stewart’s channels. Aiello also was Howard Stern’s one-time news director at Sirius.
Aiello’s departure comes in the aftermath of COO Walter Sabo’s, who left before New Years.
In addition to Aiello, Merlin also dropped the ax on Jerry Rohira, VP of production, and Rich McLaughlin, senior director of digital programming, radio-info.com reports.
Despite listeners not embracing WEMP’s attempt at all-news, changes to the on-air product have been slow. Recently, the station added Li0nel for daily, one-minute commentaries. In that same vein, next month WEMP and its Chicago sister station will add the syndicated “Clark Howard Minutes.”